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Two independent directors quit Paytm Payments Bank board amid restructuring: Report

Independent directors Manju Agarwal and Shinjini Kumar have resigned from their positions at the Paytm Payments Bank (PPBL) amid a board restructuring, according to multiple media reports.

Before joining Paytm in 2021, Agarwal worked at the National Payments Corporation of India, Jio Payments Bank, and State Bank of India.

Kumar joined the board in August 2016. She is a banker with 25 years of experience at organisations such as Citibank, Paytm, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Alongside Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Kumar was the longest-serving member of the Paytm board.

Queries sent to Paytm remained unanswered at the time of writing this article.

PPBL’s other board members include former Accenture India managing director Pankaj Vaish, ex-IDFC Bank and ICICI Bank executive Bhavesh Gupta, former Punjab and Sind Bank executive director AK Jain, former bureaucrat Ramesh Abhishek, former StanChart and HDFC Bank executive Surinder Chawla, and former BRICS bank compliance head Srinivas Yanamandra.

The restructuring comes days after RBI prohibited PPBL from accepting deposits or top-ups in any customer accounts, prepaid instruments, wallets, and FASTags after February 29.

Money laundering concerns and questionable dealings involving hundreds of crores of rupees between Paytm and its banking arm prompted the RBI to take action against entities run by Vijay Shekhar Sharma, according to media reports.

PPBL reportedly had numerous non-KYC-compliant accounts and cases of single PAN being used for multiple accounts, with transactions surpassing regulatory limits, thus raising further money laundering concerns.

The sanction PPBL comes after “persistent non-compliance“, said Deputy Governor Swaminathan J, during a press meet after the Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

“This is supervisory action on a regulated entity for persistent non-compliance,” said Swaminathan. “Such actions are invariably preceded by months and at times years of bilateral engagement where we not only point out deficiencies but provide more than adequate time to take corrective action.”

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti

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